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NNEDV Supports New Bill to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

November 13, 2019

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) supports new Senate bill, which would reauthorize and critically enhance Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 

Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), along with her colleagues, introduced a companion bill to H.R. 1585 in the Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) strongly supports this bill’s provisions and urges the Senate to move quickly towards its passage.

“The bill introduced today responds to the call from more than 700 organizations who recently sent a letter to the Senate urging passage of a bill substantially similar to the bipartisan H.R. 1585 passed earlier this year. H.R. 1585 was drafted to respond directly to survivors’ needs, with deep input from the field,” said Cindy Southworth, Interim CEO and Executive Vice President at NNEDV. “Survivors can’t wait for safety. We urge the Senate to proceed and pass a bipartisan bill today.” 

VAWA addresses survivors’ urgent and emerging needs, building more comprehensive and expanded responses with each reauthorization. The Senate companion bill builds on VAWA’s successes by offering critical improvements to ensure survivors have access to safety and justice. Specifically, the bill affirms tribes’ sovereignty to prosecute non-Native offenders of sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking and stalking; expands protections to prevent homicide; enhances economic protections; increases resources for key prevention programs; maintains vital non-discrimination protections; and continues to invest in life-saving programs.

Additionally, the Senate companion bill builds on VAWA’s landmark housing protections. For most survivors, housing is safety. When survivors face domestic violence and sexual assault in their homes, they need strong protections and robust options. Survivors must have the ability to maintain their current housing or obtain new housing without penalty. The bill creates robust housing protections that enhances survivors’ access to safe and affordable housing.

“The companion bill introduced by Sen. Feinstein today is rooted in survivors’ safety needs and their access to justice,” shared Southworth, “Additionally it will invest in prevention efforts that will help change the course for future generations. We urge each Senator: listen to the voices of survivors and support the provisions of this bill.”